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How new recruit Woolford became the 'Germ'

Sometimes, following in your Dad's footsteps isn't always a good thing.

For new nib Newcastle Knights recruit Zac Woolford, there's one characteristic of his father he doesn't want to have.

Zac's dad, Simon is a Raider's legend, playing 12 seasons with Canberra, five of which were as captain.

Simon coached the Knights' Intrust Super Premiership NSW team for two seasons before taking up the role of head coach at the Huddersfield Giants in the Super League.


The Raiders great was as tough as they come and a complete competitor, playing over 230 games for the club.

A great player to model your game off, right?

Well for Zac, he inherited something he didn't want from his dad's time as a Rugby League player.
His nickname.

"My nickname is unfortunately 'Germ'," Woolford said.

"I got this nickname because of my father, he had it throughout his whole career and I just inherited it.

"I had no say in the matter."

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Some say Zac is a carbon copy of the way his father used to play.

The No.9 has a competitive drive like his old man but that doesn't mean he has to like the nickname he's inherited.

"I hate it," Woolford he said with a cheeky grin.

"I've done nothing to deserve it, I don't know what he did. It's a bit unfair I reckon."

Zac started his career at his dad's former Club, Canberra.

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He was nominated for the 20s player of the year in 2016 before moving to Canterbury-Bankstown a year later.


He was a member of the Bulldogs' ISP side for the past two seasons and a vital player in their 2018 premiership winning team.

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Having joined the Knights for the 2019 season, the 22-year-old said he first picked-up the nickname at the Raiders but it was solidified at the Bulldogs.

"It would have been one of the days I went to training with him as a little kid I reckon," Woolford said.

"Everyone just called me 'Little Germ' and once he was gone and I started playing footy it was just 'Germ'.

"My first day at the Bulldogs, one of the coaches came up to me and said, 'first I had a Grub (Josh Reynolds), now I have a Germ' and he laughed about that and now it's stuck."